Trash Picked Treasures

Just another weblog

Simple Side Table March 13, 2009

Filed under: Furniture — simplejill @ 2:07 pm

John found this table.


It’s a simple side table from Bombay Company. There were lots of scratches on it and the top was really wobbly. You could spin it and it wouldn’t sit level. Since it was such a handy size, of course I needed to save it. First, I went over the top with the power sander a few times. Each time I used finer sandpaper. I hand sanded the base just to rough it up a bit to accept a coat of paint.

I painted the table with 4 coats of black oil paint (satin finish) that was thinned down a bit with paint thinner. I let each coat thoroughly dry (several days) and lightly sanded the brush strokes away before topping with another coat.

When the painting was complete, I fixed the wobbly top by adding a washer and some wood glue. It is now firmly attached and doesn’t wiggle a bit.

For a finishing touch, I applied a coat of furniture wax and buffed it off. Perfect!


Trash is Chic January 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — simplejill @ 3:42 pm

I have long suspected it, and it is true. Trash IS chic. Just look at the items made here:
Trash Chic

The chair and ottoman recovered with discarded rice bags is right up my alley! I love the idea of using a discarded wrapper to reinvent another discarded item and turn it into a chair worthy of notice.

A quick google search yielded more fun stuff — like bags made from rice bags!!
This one can be purchased HERE, for $42.

Or hats found HERE

Now I’ve got to try to make something. I’ll be headed to our local Asian market and buying rice today. I’ll be shopping with an eye toward reinventing the packaging.

For anyone who’s timid about recycling a found object just repeat after me:
“Trash is chic (and oh so fun)!”


Old Dresser becomes a New Sink January 7, 2009

Filed under: Furniture — simplejill @ 9:44 pm

I was browsing the “This Old House” site and came across this lovely use for an old dresser.

For full instructions on how to do this, visit THIS site.

I know there aren’t many of us who have a spot for an extra sink in their house — especially since there is all that plumbing work to be done to make it useful. Still, it’s a neat idea and might apply for those who have a bathroom remodel in their future *raising hand in the air*.


Environmentally Savvy Furniture January 5, 2009

Filed under: General Info — simplejill @ 3:03 pm
Tags: , ,

I stumbled upon THIS article at the HGTV site. The article is about “Recycle, reclaim and refinish your way to a home full of eco-friendly furniture.”

We all know how crazy people are about “green” and “eco-friendly” products. What makes me chuckle is how most people think these can only be acquired by large expenditures of cash — like the more you spend, the more environmentally responsible you are.

In the HGTV article, which has several paragraphs about how to BUY responsibly, the first paragraph clearly states:

“Reusing furniture which already exists is the best and kindest choice for the environment. If you’re in the market for new furniture, first ask yourself if anything in your home can be repurposed or found at a local flea market, thrift store or antique shop.”

They forgot to mention the cheapest and MOST environmentally friendly way of acquiring furniture — curbside gleaning — also known as trash picking.

So, next time you see something sitting on the curb that you’re feeling too squeamish about stopping and picking up, you can remind yourself that you’re just being eco-friendly and working toward a home full of “environmentally savvy furniture”. However, you’re doing it the best way possible — for FREE.

To view some refinished items, click on the categories to the right. I will be adding more projects, ideas, and links for inspiration throughout 2009.


What to do with Vintage Windows & Doors January 4, 2009

Filed under: Furniture,Outdoor — simplejill @ 2:43 pm

There is something charming about older windows. We’ve all seen mirrors set into window frames and they have become fairly popular — especially among “shabby chic” decor. Wondering what else you can do with a cast off window? Take a look at THIS site. There are tons of wonderful ideas.

I ADORE the simple window coffee table!
I have only beginner skills at woodworking but I think that even I could manage that one.

The yard conservatories, however, are a work of art. Unfortunately, they are also well beyond my skill level. But I can dream of improving my skills and one day creating one of them.

I have yet to scrounge a window or door but now I may find it hard to pass one up again. I think I need to have a crack at making myself a coffee table.


What to do with a cast off dresser? January 2, 2009

Maybe you find a dresser that has seen better days? Or maybe it’s too cruddy to imagine bringing it inside. If you’re a gardener (or just a wanna-be-gardener like me) here is a clever use for it.

I can just see a row of radishes, some carrots, and maybe some lettuce growing on my back patio in one of these.


What to Do With It All? December 30, 2008

Filed under: General Info — simplejill @ 10:38 pm

Usually, I only find a single piece worth dragging home. There have been times, when I’ve found a lot. Like the time my elderly neighbor passed away and her house was being cleaned out. There was a huge pile on the curb. Here are some of the items:



There were also boxes and boxes of glassware and decorative items.

Our neighborhood is private and gets very few drive through cars so I knew the stuff would sit there for days. John loaded the boxes in the van and drove them to Goodwill. He considered it a double good deal — the items went to an organization that could benefit instead of a landfill and it cleaned up our neighborhood.

I listed the telephone table on craigslist. Then I transformed the rocker into this:

So, the final word is that I don’t keep all that I stumble across. Sometimes, an item will linger for a few days or a few weeks before I figure out whether I want to keep it, sell it, or donate it but, overall, a good portion of my finds just mosey on to Goodwill and into the arms of others.